When reading a never ending series you realize the only way to reach the end is to never stop reading. That said every so often it’s good to pause and evaluate if you’re enjoying the series. Upon finishing the thirtieth book of The Horus Heresy I decided to do just that.
One of my early complaints about The Heresy was that every few books you’d get a story that didn’t advance the overall storyline. It felt like it would go sideways. This was a way of building up the series, of showing you what was happening all around the Imperium Of Man during The Heresy. The Damnation Of Pythos by David Annandale felt like one of those sideways books and I won’t lie I was a little frustrated by that at the start. Especially considering the previous book actually featured Horus and advanced the story greatly! To go from a book that’s focused on one of the central characters to the Heresy to a book that features a battered and near destroyed company of Space Marines trying to pull themselves together after being almost destroyed in events that took place in the fifth book of the series was a little like changing gears while driving without using a clutch.
However I must admit that as I read on in the book I started to see how this story fits in the overall story, and I was able to appreciate the added depth it brought to series. It’s also an amazing example of GrimDark SciFi such as you often see in the pages of a Warhammer40K book, I say that to say it felt more WH40K than Horus Heresy style and I’m happy with that. This book, whether intentionally or not, started to form more of a bridge between the events of The Horus Heresy and the events of the every day Imperium Of Man in the 40K universe. Less hope and more faith combined with inner struggles and ultimate sacrifices for gains you can’t yet see.
Thirty books into this Heresy and I’m still quite happy with this series and the directions the authors are taking it in. Truth told I’m going to be sad when I reach the end of this never ending series. I’m going to miss it because it has been such a great reading experience.
That said I’m also starting the thirty-first book right now. Because the only way to reach the end of a never ending series is to never stop reading it. Let The Heresy Continue.
The only way to complete a never ending book series is to never stop reading it! Y’all know I love The Horus Heresy, and since I’m now twenty-six books deep into this forty plus book series it seemed a good time to pause and reflect on it!
I first started reading this series when it was first published but after reading the first six books I was distracted and I had set it down. Well, discouraged would be more the phrase. I had not expected the overall story to be put on hold while we saw everything else going on in the universe! And that’s kind of what happens. But I still thought it was a great story and had potential so four years ago I started the series over and this time I LOVED it! I knew more of what to expect. So when I heard it was over twenty books I wasn’t surprised. So grand a heresy, so great a tragedy deserved several books to lay out the whole story. Then it passed thirty books. Then it passed forty books….. but then I realized something: How do you finish reading a never ending series? By never stopping reading it!
I have just completed reading the twenty-sixth book in the series. Nick Kyme struck gold with Vulkan Lives. This book has almost perfect pacing! And within its pages you reach one of the primary questions/frustrations so many have had with this series. The question of WHY. Why do we have this heresy? Why didn’t the principle parties sit down and sort out their issues since they are described as gods? Well in Vulkan Lives we are reminded that as much as the Emperor elevated all the good, noble, true, and incredible traits in the Primarchs, he also elevated all the bad, evil, selfish, and dark traits in the Primarchs.
But I don’t mean to get lost in the weeds for this post. I mean to reflect. From the first book Horus Rising through the twenty-sixth book Vulkan Lives the authors have crafted an immense and awesome STORY. It’s a rabbit hole to be sure but one that’s worth jumping down and exploring. You don’t have to be a Warhammer40K fan to appreciate this story. You’ll truly learn enough by starting with the first book and reading on. I do think you’d have a difficult time if you aren’t a fan of SciFi as it is GrimDark Military SciFi, but at its heart this is a tragic tale of children rising against their parent and their siblings and the stakes in this family struggle are nothing less than the galaxy itself.
Comfort Reads: Authors/Series you turn to in stressful/busy times to relax and unwind OR Authors/Series that you find to be easy to turn to again and again.
My main Comfort Reads would be L.E. Modesitt Jr and Warhammer40K. I know, Modesitt really makes you think and WH40K is quite GrimDark. Maybe not what everyone would turn to, but both are very comfortable for me to turn to.
Modesitt has a method of creating characters I can easily identify with and enjoy and he makes me think. You feel that he respects the intellegence of his reader. I know that no matter how many times I pick up one of his books I will learn something new and appreciate his work more. I find that very comforting.
Warhammer40K isn’t relaxing reading, but it is in a way. The universe of WH40K and The Horus Heresy is a very bleak, dark, and dangerous universe. It’s one that doesn’t paint a bright future and it doesn’t offer hopes of ever improving after. Yet it is comforting to read of the heroic acts of those that keep the Imperium Of Man alive. Reading about the superhuman Space Marines or the very human Imperial Army fighting bravely against the darkness that is about to overwhelm humanity is interesting and I find it to be a universe I can always turn to for distraction.
What authors or book series are your Comfort Reads?
I’m not the most organized reader. However this year I’ve worked towards setting monthly goals and I’ve had fun with this! It’s helped me read a few books I would have missed out on while still allowing me to be distracted by something shiney when distraction is needed!
This month my goals are these five books, a few others on my kindle, of course some comic books, and then whatever shiney books come my way and demand attention!
Ship Of Fools by Richard Paul Russo is absolutely amazing! Yes I’ve already read it. This will be my first reread and I’ve got a few friends joining in for fun! I loved this Horror SciFi! It captures the anxiety terror of the original Alien film. It is about a generational ship that’s been lost in space for generations, but the passengers are about to learn they aren’t as alone as they’ve believed….
I started House Of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski in October with the goal of reading it all alongside some friends who were hosting a group read of it. I fell short of the goal but there’s no way I’m giving up on this amazingly creepy story!
How do you finish a never ending book series? By never stopping! Rolling on to Betrayer by Aaron Dembski-Bowden to continue seeing where The Horus Heresy takes me. I mean I already know where it goes, that’s not the surprise of this series, the surprise is in the journey!
Time to finish Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley which I started back in 2014! So y’all have already heard me describe this awesome book. 200 pages left to read!
And introducing to my bookshelf and currently reading pile: Awakenings by Edward Lazellari! An Urban Fantasy with characters who have forgotten their pasts having to recover who they were to save not only their own lives but also the world! This book not only caught my eye but also the author’s twitter account did! This copy is a signed copy that was mailed to me for a read and review and I’m excited to tear into it. More on that in a future post!
There you have it! November’s reading goals! Feel free to join me in reading any of these or discuss them! Book talks are the best talks. Do you have any November reading goals?